In the darkness, the only noise was the electric alarm on my mobile phone. I dragged myself out of bed and began to get ready for day, occasionally gazing out at the building site across the street, desolate as the surface of the moon. This was supposed to be a new modern town of the future, but no one got around to finishing it. Instead it was a bleak endless row of houses with no facilities, full yet also empty. That’s right, you’re reading some gritty Sci-Fi. Bet you never thought there could be social problems in the future?
Technology might have made incredible advances but somehow we can’t get a café in the town or any facilities. All we have is a grocers to buy food, an off-licence to drown our sorrows in alcohol and a hairdresser (I’m not sure what that symbolises). There are no community areas to meet your neighbours, not that it makes a difference, in this gritty Sci-Fi novel we all just spend our time in front of a screen. There’s also no church because religion has no place in a Sci-Fi novel.
I pass faded election posters, but I’m too cynical (and therefore cool) to believe in politics. The politicians on the posters promise they care about us and want to build a better future, but they are probably involved in an elaborate corruption scheme that I’ll find myself dragged into in chapter 6.
As I walk, my FitBit keeps track of how many steps I take. In fact, it records everywhere I go which is completely normal and not ominous in any way. I pass some more foreshadowing like a friendly shopkeeper, you know the kind that might have important information or sell a crucial object just when I need it most.
I joined hundreds of my neighbours into cramming on the DART, but I’m not going to tell you what that is. You’ll just have to spend the rest of the book wondering if it’s some kind of bus or train? Is it a space train and are they different to regular trains? It’s made of some kind of material and hurtles off at a velocity of something or other, how should I know, I’m not an engineer? The intercom calls out in a language that is exactly like English (but we never call English) and in an exotic alien language.
An chéad stáisiún eile / The next station is / Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile / Connolly Station
The Irish are a strange alien race, know for their violent ways and heavy drinking. By an amazing coincidence there is a completely unrelated peaceful alien race also called the Irish who are famous for their literature and music. You know they are different because what alien race has more than one defining characteristic? Don’t worry about them too much, they’re mainly here for background decoration.
They changed the name of Connolly station after the revolution (that I’ll only vaguely refer to). Most of the symbols of the old Empire were removed, but what really changed? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one questioning the system.
I saw some clouds out the window and [insert extremely long description of how clouds work on this planet]. Hm, I said to myself and continued on as I was because knowledge of clouds doesn’t really impact my life in any way.
I work for a large global corporation which is completely normal and legitimate and not involved in any shady activity. I certainly would be shocked if someone revealed to me that all is not what it seems and that in actual fact the corporation is involved in horrific crimes that go all the way to the top. But until that happens, I’ll continue on with my day.
To keep the character list simple, I have colleague I like, colleague I don’t like and girl I don’t have the nerve to talk to. There will be a shocking revelation about one of them and I will get with the girl.
“Well lad, any craic?” I said. That’s right, in the future language has evolved in drastically different way. It’s called English with an Irish accent or EWAIA because who doesn’t love acronyms? “Not really, just had a few cans last night by the canal.” A can is a spherical metal object in this case containing an alcoholic beverage know as “beer”. It is common to consume such liquids in hope of becoming inebriated, but I am much too cool for that. My friend comes from a different region in the universe, over 50 miles from my home and as a result has some bizarre and unusual habits, one of which is a predilection for drinking near bodies of water such as canals, rivers, lakes and the ocean.
We began working and I noticed some minor thing that will have major significance later on, but because we haven’t reach that point in the narrative yet, I ignored it. I have one of those ordinary jobs that’s got a schedule flexible enough to allow me to take hours off to solve mysteries. At lunch I talked with some friends, but there’s no place for fun in this serious sci-fi book, so I’ll skip it. Instead I’ll stick with more appropriate Sci-Fi topics like an excessively detailed description of how the air conditioning works.
As I return home, I pass a park, but why would I want to go there? There’s no technology in there, they should replace it with something useful, like a shopping centre. This is a commentary on young people today.
When I get home, I pick up my e-reader, which is like a book but with more technology and abbreviations. The book is in Esperanto, because can you think of a more appropriate language for a sci-fi novel? It was invented by humans as a triumph of science over nature’s inefficiencies and to be a universal language for humanity. It’s like someone said: “I want space-age futurism, but as a language.” Plus, I actually do know the language fluently. It’s a about Bitcoin which is either the Esperanto of money or maybe Esperanto is the Bitcoin of languages. Either way, it’s all very futuristic and a great way to cram exposition in. Hey, I worked hard on the world-building of this novel, so you’re going to hear all about it whether you like it or not.
As I make myself a dinner of spacefood, my housemate arrives and starts talking about some new techno-gizmo he bought. Something, something consumerism, something something capitalism. Kids these days! I have this really unique idea that I’m sure no one has had before, what if technology makes people soft and shallow? If you contrast this caricature of modern young people with a romanticised fantasy of farmers in previous generations, you people don’t look very good do they? Really makes you think.
Finally, I go to sleep, but technology never does. Damn, that was profound.